Brave Fireball: HomePod Lives

finally:

Apple announced today HomePod (2nd Gen), a powerful smart speaker that delivers next-level acoustics in a beautiful, iconic design. Packed with Apple innovations and the intelligence of Siri, HomePod delivers advanced algorithmic audio for an immersive listening experience, including support for immersive spatial audio tracks. With convenient new ways to manage daily tasks and control smart homes, users can now use Siri to create smart home automation, receive notifications when a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is detected in their home, and check room temperature and humidity. – free.

The new HomePod is available to order online and in the Apple Store app starting today, and will be available starting Friday, February 3.

“By leveraging our audio expertise and innovation, the new HomePod delivers deep, rich bass, natural mids, and clear, detailed highs,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the popularity of the HomePod mini, we’ve seen a growing interest in the powerful acoustics that can be achieved in a larger HomePod. We’re excited to bring the next generation of HomePod to customers around the world.

First of all, I would like to point out how skillfully this post was written. Quote from Jose Back toLittle by little so far, Apple is not only updating the HomePod with a new model, but also bringing it back after a long time. But anyone who doesn’t pay close attention will never notice.

The original HomePod was extraordinarily functional, to say the least. She was Announced on stage at WWDC in June 2017And it was on sale first – initially only in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States1– in December. It didn’t actually ship until February 2018, though — the first warning sign that something was wrong. until then , As you noted my reviewHowever, it lacks promised features like multi-room audio and pairing two HomePods together. These features eventually made it to software updates, but months later than originally promised.

Throughout its short lifetime, the original HomePod experienced difficult sales and reports Thin reliability.

Apple ended the original Home Pod in March 2021, with no word on the future of the product, just months after the Home Pod Mini debuted. The HomePod Mini appears to be the same as the HomePod, but the name is Minnie It also suggested that a larger HomePod could return one day. In about two years, the original HomePod has received several software updates, adding important features. And here we are.

Conventional wisdom held that the problem with the original HomePod was its price — $350 to start with. Reduced to 300 USD in April 2019. I even gave in to this price-centric thinking I mention ending it in my summary clause. Now I am convinced that this was a mistake. I took that back when I wrote in 2018.HomePod preferences“:

The difference between HomePod and Amazon Echo is not that they are different product categories. They belong to the same category. No one but a gadget reviewer would put both the HomePod and Echo in their kitchen. They will get one. Of course, it’s competition.

The difference lies in the priorities behind the hardware. All of them are audio players and voice assistants that are useful for information, communication, and smart home control. It should be more widely accepted. But the order in which they are prioritized makes a big difference. Obviously, the HomePod’s first priority is sound quality. That’s why it costs $350. Amazon has placed a high priority on price, which is one reason why the Echo doesn’t sound great.

The main priority of the original HomePod was sound quality. Sound quality remains a priority for the new second generation HomePod. It’s a home theater component first and a voice assistant second. I still think a true HomePod experience costs $600 with a pair. I have OG HomePods connected to my kitchen and living room and they sound great method A stereo pair is twice as good as a single HomePod. Last week, I got a hands-on experience with the new second-generation HomePods, and the same was true: One looks surprisingly good for its size and price, but two of them are bundled together. method Good weakness.

I suspect reliability was an issue with the original models — some sort of design or engineering glitch that sent Apple to the drawing board years before anticipating the need for a second-gen model. HomePod Minis are great for what they are, but they’re no substitute for full-size models in terms of room-filling sound quality. The new HomePod has new features: temperature and humidity sensors, and vastly improved response times to Siri commands. Hidden temperature and humidity sensors yet Also unlocked on existing HomePod Minis with software update.

We’ll have to wait until the actual reviews of the new HomePod drop before we know if the sound quality is just as good or better, and if Siri’s responsiveness and accuracy have actually improved, but I’m glad to know that the HomePod is back. This is a “you have to hear it to get it” product.

Hopefully Apple will bring it back air Force next one.

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